JOHANNESBURG – The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) said on Monday that the four-month workers' strike at Sibanye-Stillwater's gold operations will continue.
This is after AMCU president and the union's national leadership met with members at Masizakhele Stadium at Sibanye operations in Driefontein on Monday to give them an update on ongoing wage negotiations with the employer.
At least 15 000 AMCU members downed tools on 21 November 2018 at Driefontein, Kloof and Beatrix, Sibanye's gold operations in South Africa, demanding higher wages after the miner signed a wage agreement with three other unions.
AMCU is demanding R1 000 yearly wage increments for the next three years, while the National Union of Mineworkers, Solidarity and UASA accepted R750 per year for the next three years.
Addressing AMCU members, Joseph Mathunjwa said the road to economic liberation was not an easy one and the decision to go on strike was not taken lightly.
"Our objective has always been and will always be to fight for our members to earn a decent living wage. There have been many ploys to bring an end to the strike, including Sibanye-Stillwater colluding with government in an unholy union," Mathunjwa said.
"After receiving footage showing state vehicles being serviced at Sibanye-Stillwater, we were convinced that this was more than a wage dispute. We wrote to the President of the country, Cyril Ramaphosa, requesting his urgent intervention, but we never received a response."
Mathunjwa said the mass meeting was not to announce an end to the strike because that is not up to him.
He said that the strike was a joint decision that was taken collectively by all members, and thus, it was important that whatever decision was taken going forward regarding the strike was a decision taken collectively by the members.
"When we represent members, we go with the mandate that is received from them. We are trying to build this country because the people who took power in 1994, have failed to build this country," Mathunjwa said.
"Some people think we have called this meeting because we are ending the strike, I don't know where they got that information from because the strike continues."
AMCU members will reconvene on Friday for another mass meeting to receive an update on some of the issues that are still in discussion at the union's national executive committee.